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Thread: Unisaw Purchase Advice

  1. #1

    Unisaw Purchase Advice

    Hi everyone, new to the forum and starting to put together my first woodshop. Iím looking into upgrading my table saw from an old hand-me-down Craftsman contractor saw (in pretty rough shape) to something substantially better.

    I found a 1985 vintage Unisaw locally, model number 34-761S. Stock fence and miter gauge, 1.5 HP wired for 220V single phase. The cast iron wings arenít shown in the picture but are included. It looks like it is in great shape and according to the owner was used in a heated basement.

    Theyíre currently asking $950 for the saw, but that seems high to me and more than i want to put down right now. There seem to be a number of Unisaws of various vintage, model, and condition available within 100 miles, so Iím OK waiting things out a little. Any thoughts on what a fair price is for this saw? I donít want to be a low balling jerk but also donít want to overpay.

    048C772F-E682-4472-89BA-1787BE68B1CD.jpg

  2. #2
    OK price for a 3HP machine with ext table.

    Think I would keep shopping.

    That said, I paid $850 for a Jet 1 3/4 HP with an extension table for $850. But it was in unused condition.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
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    West Lafayette, IN
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    5,162
    What was the stock fence in 1985? Biesemeyer? If so thatís a good fence, the round tube rail fence not as nice. The type of fence makes a difference on the price Iíd put on it.

    Either way $1300 is outrageous, and honestly $950 is too. For that Uni the highest Iíd go with Biesemeyer fence is $600. And only that high because it appears to have not been used in industry but rather a small shop setting. That rust will clean up easy though.

    Clean, shiny, ready to go Uniís with all the goodies go for $1k+.

    Edit: also, it only has a 1.5 hp motor. That will likely be more than fine for what 99% of woodworkers need, and I had one for a couple years and never had an issue. But, a 3 hp is worth a bit more money.
    Last edited by Matt Day; 07-17-2019 at 10:22 AM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2014
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    Josh That saw looks like it was never used. When I looked at the pic closely the first thing I noticed was the top did not appear to have miter slots. Then I saw it has some kind of covering on it. The kicker for me is what fence comes with it,if it is a Unifence or a biesmeyer then I would be very tempted. The motor at 1.5 h.p. as Matt says is adequate,one of my employees bought one just like it and never complained about it. I think with that cover removed from the top this one of "the clean shiny ready to go Uni's" Matt mentions. I have alot of expeience with Unisaws,currently have one in use and two waiting to be fixed up and sold at the shop. I have bought and sold two others ,the range of price paid is from $150 to $1700 the cheapest one was basically just for the motor but the whole saw came with. The 1700 one was brand new unused condition with a 52'' Unifence and 3h.p. Baldor motor. Good luck.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
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    6,342
    Josh

    I don't know where you live, but that price is too high in my opinion.I'm not sure that saw sold for that much brand new
    Price will vary, from region to region, and condition, but still that seems high. Here in New England, Delta Unisaws can be had $400-$700.00 all day long. in just about any configuration they came in. These are 3HP saws with Beismeyer fences also.
    Delta did have some 5HP saws that were much heavier built that the Unisaws, and they also come up for sale on occasion in the $900-$2K range, but are generally 3 phase machines. They're gone quick!
    "The first thing you need to know, will likely be the last thing you learn." (Unknown)

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
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    Modesto, CA, USA
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    Location? here that is about double the value. Note that age means nothing on a unisaw. They had ball bearings from the beginning and nothing really changed, except fences, until the tilt switched over in then last decade or so.
    Bil lD
    Last edited by Bill Dufour; 07-17-2019 at 3:19 PM.

  7. #7
    Seems high to me. I sold a much newer 5HP Unisaw for about $1,200. I'd also be concerned about the 1.5HP motor. It'd be really nice to get one with a more powerful motor, perhaps 3HP.

    Older saws without a riving knife are less in demand and should sell for less (a true riving knife that moves with the blade is a valuable safety feature). If you decide to upgrade one day I doubt if you would be able to get your money out of this one.

    Mike
    Go into the world and do well. But more importantly, go into the world and do good.

  8. #8
    Hi everyone, thanks for the feedback. The saw is in great condition, the top was covered to keep it protected from moisture since itís in the garage while he tries to sell it. Not a spot of rust on the table. Motor bearings and belts were replaced 2.5 yrs ago along with a new ShopFox switch. Iím in NE Wisconsin. The fence is the old tube style rail system. Owner says heís never needed to upgrade since heís owned it.

    He said heís willing to come down, closer to $750, but not all the way to $600. Iím still considering it, because of the overall condition itís in. I am pretty positive I donít need a larger motor - Iíll be using it for hobby purposes.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
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    Quote Originally Posted by Josh Ball View Post
    I am pretty positive I don’t need a larger motor - I’ll be using it for hobby purposes.
    I had a 1.5 HP saw for years & it was fine for cutting sheet goods, but most any time I had a hardwood project, I wished I had more power. It got the job done, but there was more burning because of the slow feed rate. Cutting big dadoes could be an issue as well. I have a 3 HP saw now & it is much more pleasant to use. I just use mine for hobby work as well.

  10. #10
    At $750 I think he is in the game for a clean Unisaw. Yes the 1.5 and fence are negatives, but they work. You have a very clean chassis that has seen very light use. They do last forever and you can add to it over time should you choose to do so. How much shopping do you want to do? Are there others in your area? They are great saws.

  11. #11
    Join Date
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    Use thin kerf blades, blade stabilizers, and 1.5 hp should be fine.
    Bill D.

  12. #12
    Josh - Good advice above. I think it's overpriced at $950, although it's in great condition. I also think you will want more HP than 1.5.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Dufour View Post
    Use thin kerf blades, blade stabilizers, and 1.5 hp should be fine.
    Bill D.
    Until you try to cut a 45 on a two inch piece of maple. (essentially a 3 inch cut)

  14. #14
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Dufour View Post
    Use thin kerf blades, blade stabilizers, and 1.5 hp should be fine.
    Bill D.
    It's true, thin kerf blades help, but only slightly. I doubt that they would give even an apparent .5 HP boost. Been there.

  15. #15
    Josh, buy once...especially applicable to a table saw. I you focus on a 3hp with Beis fence, you'll find either a Uni or equivalent, at a decent price. Do that and you'll never have to upgrade. I know there's one out there with your name on it.

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